King Lizzard was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the city Rolling Stone magazine calls “the Liverpool of America, a gritty industrial city producing hard, loud rock since the sixties.” Detroit in the sixties was rife with great music, and the funk of Motown definitely ingrained into his musical essence early on. From early in his youth King wanted to make films, act, and play music...something that would pull together in his live performances.
The son of country music singer-songwriter Johnny Colmus (who wrote for Loretta Lynn, Ernest Tubb and Jimmy Dickens), King was raised by his maternal grandparents. From his father's side he got the music aptitude...from his mother's side shrewd business acumen and a deep, dark, wild sense of humor.
In 1973 his grandparents retired and moved to San Diego, where King got actively involved in theatre and acting. King won a California statewide scholarship to college on his acting abilities, placing him in the same college class as Annette Bening, Ned Bellamy and Tim Thomerson.
He was enrolled and accepted into the University of Southern California's Film Production program when the death of his Grandmother left him homeless and having to drop out of the prestigious school. After getting an apartment and a job, he went to buy himself his beloved Gibson Les Paul. He couldn't afford the Les Paul (he now, however, has 3), but he could afford a 1974 Gibson EB-3 bass guitar. With that bass, and a borrowed amplifier and homemade speaker, he formed the band Legacy, which became a Top 40 hit in San Diego and North County, eventually signing on to a major label and opening for Cheap Trick, Heart and Molly Hatchet.
He has played before stadium crowds and intimate clubs throughout the southwest U.S.A. When Legacy imploded in 1982, he sold his gear, moved to Los Angeles and vowed never to work in music again. In Los Angeles he was a Unit Production Manager for feature films and did extras acting in such films as “The Terminator 2,” “ Cartel,” “ A Soldier’s Fortune,” “Tentacles” and “Say Yes” as well as be an extra in TV’s “Family Ties.”.
Flash forward fifteen years. It's the year 1997 and King has lived through the death of his daughter, his mother, the Rodney King riots and the Northridge earthquake. Jobless and homeless...again...he moved in with his father, in Las Vegas, and began writing and recording music in his spare time in his father's home studio.
Adopting the name of King Lounge Lizzard...for his Vegas persona...he started writing and recording funky dance driven pop tunes and formed the progressive/electronica band Living Karma. Between his uncle's love of classical music, his being raised in Detroit during the Motown years, and his self-proclaimed "demon bug up his ass" because of his losses, along with a sense of humor which kept him sane through it all, he developed the wickedly acerbic, fast, hard driving progressive funk-metal that would eventually fuel his 2001 Hearts of Darkness Band.
Between 2001 and 2004 he hosted a series of radio shows which featured Las Vegas talent. He married photographer Lana Gunn in 2001, who became the Queen Lizzard and is responsible for the amazing photos of King, and became an ordained minister in 2004 with two doctorates (his mother's side was Jewish turned Catholic, his father side is Mormon, and King follows Sokka Gakkai Buddhism).
He continues to write and record styles ranging from classical orchestral to punk to metal to sixties pop, but all of his tunes have the wit and style that, not matter what the genre or who the vocalist is, can be instantly recognized as a King Lizzard song.
His last concert was in 2004. Why? Well, because he just doesn't want to do the gigging grind anymore...preferring to write and record music and work at the United States Air Force's most diverse wing, the 57th, at Nellis Air Force Base (the home of the Thunderbirds, USAF Weapons School, CAOC-N and Red Flag).
A voting producer, engineer, songwriter member of the Recording Academy, he has had several songs make the initial rounds on the 54th and 55th Grammy ballots for Best Rock Performance. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife and his cats where he collaborates with other musicians. He recently collaborated with Cathe B. Jones, wife of Penn & Teller musical director Mike Jones, on the 2013 release Love Songs in the Key of D(eath).
Will he ever perform again? “Hell, why not…”
1. King has clinically died three times
2. During one of the deaths he was in a dark place with much pain and sorrow
3. He follows Nichiren Buddhism and believes in reincarnation
4. His maternal grandfather knew Jimmy Hoffa, in 1967 King met Hoffa
5. His grandfather was suspected to be a member of the Purple Gang in the 20s
6. He was hit by a white car while riding a bike, leaving him in a wheelchair most of his childhood
7. His favorite band growing up was Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Monkees and the Rolling Stones
8. In 5th grade he paid 4 kids to beat the shit out of a kid that had been bullying him
9. His grandmother was a bailiff for the Wayne County Sheriffs (tough granny), his uncle knew Nixon
10. In his 20s King was out of control, getting drop down drunk, using drugs, frequenting brothels and getting into fights and has never been arrested
11. He outran a pursuing police motorcycle in San Diego in 1977
12. He first had sex at age 12
13. He lived in Detroit during the 1967 riots and L.A. during the 1993 riots
14. He has been held up at gunpoint twice, and managed to scare them away by acting bat-shit crazy
15. He went into a police station with a bag of weed in his coat pocket (nothing happened)
16. He used to do elaborate and dangerous pranks on friends, bosses and workers
17. He used to work at Tower Records on the Sunset Strip
18. Has a measured IQ of 142 and is bat-shit crazy